Nimmo Smith Commission noted unlawful tax affairs beyond their remit


Lord Nimmo Smith’s Scottish Premier League’s commission made clear their remit and the bounds on their decision:

“The Tax Tribunal has held (subject to appeal) that Oldco was acting within the law in setting up and operating the EBT scheme.

“The SPL presented no argument to challenge the decision of the majority of the Tax Tribunal

and Mr McKenzie (solicitor acting on behalf of the SPL) stated expressly that for all purposes of this Commission’s Inquiry and Determination the SPL accepted that decision as it stood, without regard to any possible appeal by HMRC.

“Accordingly we proceed on the basis that the EBT arrangements were lawful. What we are concerned with is the fact that the side letters issued to the Specified Players, in the course of the operation of the EBT scheme, were not disclosed to the SPL and the SFA as required by

their respective Rules.”

On this basis, Lord Nimmo Smith’s commission found that a legal tax loophole, inappropriately administered and which broke SFA and SPL rules, did not amount to a sporting advantage.

The Commission was clear their determination was bound by the Tax Tribunal and not influenced by the possibility of a successful HMRC appeal.  We have no ruling on today’s question – whether a decade-long illegal tax regime conferred sporting advantage.

In noting their thoughts so clearly, the law lords opened the door to a subsequent determination based on a successful HMRC appeal.

The SFA and SPFL (previously known as SPL) must now address this question.

It is worth noting; SFA and SPFL officials have been trying to steer media away from looking into their affairs.  These executives have no power on this matter.  The clubs will determine what happens, not those watching their own hide.

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  1. In full



    Why SDM used ebts to recruit players. From FTT 29 Oct 2010 pages 125/6



    Q. I’m just going to ask you a few questions, Sir David. 18 When I ask them, could you direct the answers to the 19 Tribunal. 20 A. Certainly. 21 Q. Because they want to hear what you’re going to say. If 22 we can go to the remuneration trust. 23 A. Yes. 24 Q. And its operation. Would you describe it or would you 25 not as a tax avoidance scheme?Page 126


    1 A. No, not at all. I think it was a method of us 2 acquiring, especially football wise, better players in a 3 more cost effective manner than we would be able do so. 4 In the football world, we’re in a very competitive game 5 and you’re competing with players and countries all 6 around the world. And we were very ambitious at that 7 time. And it was seen as a correct and proper way for 8 us to proceed.



    9 Q. In relation to Group employees, other than footballers, 10 would you consider that the trust has been a success or 11 not, in incentivising those persons? 12 A. If you want to retain good people, good people need to 13 be incentivised. Although business has been very 14 difficult recently, I’ve got a great team of people 15 around me. We’ve gone through a difficult time. We got 16 hit with our bank hitting troubles, the property market 17 collapsing, as I said in my statement. The price of 18 metal collapsed. So up until such times it was a good 19 way of safeguarding people to stay with the Group and 20 rewarding them in an efficient manner.



    21 Q. As regards football players, was it a success in getting 22 good football players, do you think? 23 A. As a club, we have been very successful, because we’ve 24 been able to attract players of a certain standard that, 25 perhaps, we may not have been able to do otherwise.

  2. BEATBHOY on 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 10:56 AM


    The importance of the manager being prepared to adapt tactically to European football.







    If an old hand like Pellegrini can do it. . . . .














    The first 45 minutes of that match was a fantastic watch, some beautiful football on display by both sides, Sevilla losing only their fourth European tie at home since 2010, and they’ve played a lot!!





    It took him long enough did it not.With the players he has at his disposal,their CL record is abysmal.


    Not as if he had no European experience before either.

  3. No way in hell will the SFA place sanctions on them for cheating , the SFA/spfa are part of the problem . Who is going to lay sanctions against the Blazers . I expected to log on here this morning and read that the whole cabal had left the building . If something is not done outside hampden and the big hoose , nothing will be done at all . We have seen this before where the convenient delay tends to lead to it being forgotten . How I wish the Bunnet was still here .


    Btw without reading back . Can LNS judgement not be overturned regards sporting advantage

  4. Turkeybhoy,




    I was speaking to my ol mate ‘Smithy’ and he reckons the billion pounds man city have spent gave them no sporting advantage. ;)





  5. Lennon n Mc….Mjallby-a quick scan of the back pages of the rags up here,were majoring on not their team losing titles,rather than industrial scale cheating,says it all about this bigoted country.HH

  6. “Btw without reading back . Can LNS judgement not be overturned regards sporting advantage”







    The deluded seem to think so.








  7. GM- i get the feeling RD still approaches games as if he is still playing,a wee step back is required when we have the winning post is in sight.HH

  8. Auldheid on 5th November 2015 11:40 am



    Feels good eh? getting there.



    I’ve mentioned this before when anyone asks me at what point SDM started his cheating of the tax man.



    When Mo Johnston was on the market he was a free agent. Billy McNeill offered him £1 Million signing on fee, he seemingly agreed before doing his infamous volte farce and signed for the the Huns for a signing on fee of….. £1 Million.



    When asked why SDM’s and Souness’s £1 Million was accepted he said “Sir David will pay the tax”…………..Well……….Did he?

  9. JimTim,



    LNS judgement that no sporting advantage was gained by using side letters. LNS was not referring to the use of EBT’s. That was not his remit.



    This is a whole different issue – the side letters were part of the EBT scam.



    The Lords yesterday said the use of EBTs was illegal. Therefore yesterdays ruling blows everything LNS said, out the water.

  10. Can anyone really imagine the furore that this decision by HMRC would have caused if the decision went against say,Arsenal,Chelsea?.Sky would be in meltdown today.Every pundit and expert would be wheeled out,and it would be getting 24 hour coverage.


    The Lance Armstrong verdict was on for around one week.This is the biggest sporting scandal ever in Britain,and no one cares,except us,and maybe a few other clubs in Scotlands fans.


    If HMRC now go after any of the clubs in the EPL wait and see the difference.Look at the coverage Harry Redknapps case got.


    I dont care what MON says,or any other limp wristed apologist.Every game that the Huns played with even one EBT recipient in their team,should in the history books be recorded,with an Asterisk,as a 3-0 defeat


    Any trophies won should be stripped.Not awarded to anyone else,just stripped from the proven cheating club.I know this will be resisted in Scotland,but this must be a UEFA matter.The former Rangers cheated also in their competitions extensively.If UEFA can award a 3-0 defeat to teams making clerical errors in their competitions,then deliberate financial doping,a present UEFA hobby horse,must be addressed by them.


    BRTH,spoke well on this yesterday.I hope what he wrote bears some fruit.


    £94 million.Good God.This is an astonishing figure of financial doping.It dwarves the figures being bandied around at FIFA,and look at the scandal that has caused in the media.

  11. Melbourne Mick,



    We escaped most of the storm here thankfully. Eldest bhoy (nearly 11)has Surf/Lifesaving for PE tomorrow……… a bit different from what we were all brought upon. If your goodself and the Princess are over our way leave a note on here and well hopefully catch up.






    Ps BOTOB. https://youtu.be/TJOBNS5duwk

  12. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Oscar Knox, MacKenzie Furniss and anyone else who fights Neuroblastoma on 5th November 2015 10:34 am




    Standing back from this a bit I get the feeling that the judicial climate has changed in relation to tax avoidance and evasion and that legalistic, Lewis Carrol type schemes that are obviously intended to subvert the intention of Parliament are now more likely to be struck down. I’m surprised the CofS did it, I thought it would have needed the Supreme Court.



    I agree with you that the recipients will likely be pursued for any shortfalls once the liquidator has paid up. To me that’s just as important as taking the medals off them.



    And good to see a mention of Heidi Poon. If it wasn’t for her dissenting judgment things could have taken a different course.



    I wonder whether anyone will now start to ask why the original tribunal was allowed to sit in private.

  13. Bawsman on 5th November 2015 12:03 pm




    Auldheid on 5th November 2015 11:40 am







    Feels good eh? getting there.






    You have no idea :)


  14. GEORDIE MUNRO on 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 11:51 AM











    I was speaking to my ol mate ‘Smithy’ and he reckons the billion pounds man city have spent gave them no sporting advantage. ;)





    LOL.But they won a game and the manager is now a master tactician.Poor old Ronnie,he will never aspire to those heights.Arsene Wenger sits at the bottom of his group,with a squad of superstars,after not doing too well against such giants as Olympiakos,and Jozes old team.

  15. Lymmbhoy



    Will do that, just put the Wolfe Tones c.d on singing that,


    and now it’s playing on the comp. the house is bouncing, hope


    it wakens her imperial highness because i don’t know where


    she’s hidden the sustenance, maybe have to cease and desist.


    Now where have i heard that before?


    H.H Mick

  16. Anyway,I expect the Bhoys to win tonight.Not just being partisan,I really do.When we turn it on at Celtic Park we can be a bit fearsome.If we play well,we will win,irrespective of how they play.


    Thank God for Celtic TV.I have a massive Darts semi-final tonight,so will be watching the re-run later.Turkey has not changed the clocks yet,so it will not be shown until 2 AM.If I win tonight,I could be watching with the old one eye closed.

  17. lennon's passion on

    Is there a time period for the appeal. This is sfa/spl get out clause on doing anything. Personally don’t think anything will come of it. Unless we went Kev-j on the board and refused to buy season book merchandise. Refused to go to away games. Won’t happen though. REBELS NEEDED

  18. Turkeybhoy



    Yeah, that’s why I said ‘old hand’, but better late than never.



    The point is about tactical adaptability.



    It took a right humping in Barcelona for Swallex to adapt Manure’s style of play for the CL, and it finally paid off, with a lot of good luck in finals too, it has to be said.



    You’re never too old (or young) to learn, and Ronny has to learn from his mistakes in European ties so far.



    Hopefully we’ll see evidence of that tonight.



    ‘Mon The Mighty Hoops!

  19. The same media who say we should win everything domestically and be beating teams like Molde & Malmo in Europe because we have a significant financial advantage, are now trying to tell us that the cheating club had no sporting advantage as a result of a financial advantage gained by illegal means.


    Are they realise how stupid they look or just playing to their audience?

  20. Is it not great talking about Celtic.


    one word sums up a total and uninterrupted history since 1888.




    There is only one Celtic.


    one club,


    not a company – just Celtic.


    not a holding company-just Celtic


    not a subsidiary of anything- just Celtic.


    one club,indivisible and open to all



    Today is the day after 3 law lords decided a ‘former club called Rangers’ cheated


    They do not talk of holding companies


    they do not talk of parent companies


    They found the former club; Rangers 1872-2012,incorporated SCO 4276 cheated by using a tax AVOIDANCE scheme.



    The meejah are trying different glitter on the turd today.


    for 3 years Cheats international have had an easy ride,feeding their sycophants in the meejah the holding co/newco/subsidiaryco kack whilst they have sat back and watched our games honesty being shredded.



    Yesterday the world found out sco 4276 cheated.They are laughing at our ‘comical ali’ meejah,awaiting to be told instead of investigating.its to late now lamb lovers.your behaviour with a few notable exceptions seen you standby and do nothing,



    Titles will be stripped,it is only a case of when.it is to do with history.Their former club cheated.


    Our squirming governing body like in Cycling will(eventually) do the right thing.


    Personally i do not want any of their titles and i would ask any past player to politely decline with a ‘no comment’when asked.



    i would like to see full implementation of financial fair play rules in this country.currently the MA internationals are cheating(nae law lords jistme) running whilst insolvent.


    psychologically they are addicted to other peoples money,the watp*is deeply ingrained


    *we avoid tax payments,as the gardener would say time to cleanse




  21. Talking of EBT’s……………………Why did Graham Souness get one 10 years after he left Ibrox…………….Services rendered.


    Tuguy….1.3 Million


    Amoruso….1.4 Million


    Ferguson….7.5 Million


    The grand daddy of them all, which cracked the dam Boumsong…..£8.2 Million.



    From Wiki



    In July 2007, Newcastle United was raided by the City of London Police, who were investigating transfer deals involving Newcastle, Rangers and Portsmouth. Two Souness transfers, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Amdy Faye, were among a list of 17 transfers that were not cleared by Quest.[33] The Boumsong deal in particular was so odd that it was widely commented upon at the time.[34] Four months after succeeding Sir Bobby Robson as manager, Souness was in his first transfer window as Newcastle manager. At £8.2m, Boumsong was his first big signing and Souness said he would replace Jonathan Woodgate in the Newcastle defence,[35] which had conceded several leads earlier in the season.[36]



    Newcastle were well aware of Boumsong prior to his move from Auxerre to Rangers on a free transfer.[37] Robson had travelled to France to watch him, but he declined the opportunity to sign Boumsong.[34] Liverpool were also interested in signing Boumsong.[38] Robson’s doubts were confirmed when Boumsong marked Alan Shearer in a pre-season game against Rangers.[34] Shearer came off to speak in dismissive terms about the Frenchman’s lack of physique,[34] and he later mentioned Boumsong’s previous availability on a free transfer on television.[34]



    When Boumsong was given a torrid time by DJ Campbell during his Newcastle debut against Yeading in the FA Cup, doubts over the wisdom of the transfer mushroomed.[34] The agent in the Boumsong and Faye transfers was Willie McKay. On 7 November 2007, Quest issued the following statement about McKay’s dealings:



    “ Further to the key findings from the final Quest report published on 15 June 2007 by the Premier League, Quest would like to emphasise that, in that report, it was clear that no evidence of irregular payments was found in the transfers in the inquiry period which involved the agent Willie McKay. Quest would also like to thank Mr McKay for his cooperation with the inquiry.[39]

  22. Governing bodies cannot do anything until it is known whether yesterday’s decision will be appealed. Hence the silence from the SFA. SPFL.

  23. I sent this off to John Paul Taylor this morning, pointless sitting on yer arse moaning right?




    I’m sure you’ve been a busy boy today JP, so as a Celtic supporter I’m not interested in the tainted trophies they won, I don’t want them let’s make that clear, but to have been cheated out of the ones wee and every club in Scotland competed for, and they are still attributed to them is not on, in my opinion they should be stripped of them, and then we all move on, but to think that we all move on now with nothing done is not on, I would like to know the clubs stance, I know it would be silly for us as a club to go it alone, and that other clubs need to be involved to show that it’s not just a Celtic-Rangers thing, that will get us no where, surely the club are in some sort of dialogue with other clubs in the SPFL ?


    For this to go unpunished without even a mention from us or other clubs would mean that all the clubs and us are condoning there behaviour, for Celtic and the rest of scottish football to stand up and take our game to where it should be, honest, open, a level playing field would surely only advance our game, if not then there is a word that should never be used when talking about Scottish Football, and that word is integrity, and for a cheat to profit and have no punishment sends out all the wrong messages, let’s hope we never go down that road.


    Your’s in Celtic.


    Tony Donnelly.

  24. Glibby McShameless on

    Let us all keep cool and decide upon the BEST course of action to deal with the cheating years.


    Let those who have expertise in this do the steering.



    Ignore the red-herrings, and there is a shoal of them just now.



    The Daily Hun Cheerleader has personified Rangers by saying, “Rangers insist there will be no title stripping” as if this spectral thing has the power to arbitrate on all things to do with Scottish football. It is bunkum!



    The Brothers are in full “vigilant” mode, but this time they are fecked. The judgement is at last a victory for common decency.



    I hope we find the best solution and not simply what we wish for. The cleansing of our sport’s governing body is the priority. My hope is that those who have led us can find the best way to achieve this by cool and calm thinking and that justice for our sport and our member clubs is reached.

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